William H. Thompson was a professional photo-engraver with the Hartford Engraving Company in Hartford from about 1901-1917. Thompson from 1903-1906 took photographs of street scenes, river scenes, architecture, statues, and parks of central Hartford. He took these photographs, according to a memo to State Librarian George Godard, because "he thought [they] would later be of historic interest." In 1918 due to ill health he sold his photograph collection to the State Library.
This collection consists of approximately 99 black and white photographs of central Hartford. It is probable that State Librarian George Godard purchased only the glass plate negatives and not the prints as mentioned in the memo. In 1973 a set of prints was made from the negatives. Some of the original prints of the negatives were rediscovered in 1977.
Addresses for buildings and businesses were obtained from the Sanborn Insurance Maps of Hartford, 1900 and Geer's Hartford City Directory, 1904-1906. Addresses from 1903-1906 may not corroborate with matching addresses today as names of streets in Hartford have changed. For example, what is known as Columbus Boulevard in 2011 was Front Street during the period of 1903-1906. What is in 2011 known as Front Street did not exist from 1903-1906.
David Vrooman, a MLS student at Southern Connecticut State University, assisted in completing the metadata for this digital collection.